Garcia Live Vol 3 - Legion of Mary (3 CDs) - Celebrating one of Jerry’s most experimental, improvisational and revered projects: Legion of Mary. GarciaLive Volume Three presents highlights from two winter 1974 performances captured during what is thought to be Legion of Mary’s first tour featuring the core lineup of Garcia, Merl Saunders, John Kahn, Martin Fierro and Ron Tutt.
Garcia’s voice and playing sound inspired and youthful while Saunders drives the soul with the organ and his gruff, husky singing voice, effortlessly paired with Kahn’s and Tutt’s steady rhythm and Fierro’s perfectly textured brass playing. The music more than delivers with the musical baton being passed around effortlessly, with leads chasing leads and the musicians following one another gracefully as evidenced on tracks like the hard-driving “Mystery Train” where the musician’s solos dance and sway with each other.
Features newly mastered original two-track recordings, accompanied by a liner note essay by Dead Notes author Darryl Norsen, and previously unpublished live photos.
Yonder Mountain String Band - EP13 CD - This four-track EP features one song written and sung by each band member: ”Straight Line” by Ben Kaufmann, “Don’t Worry Happy Birthday” by Dave Johnston, “Rag Doll” by Jeff Austin and special guest songwriter Danny Barnes, and “All the Time” by Adam Aijala. The recordings were cut at Electrical Audio in Chicago during a momentary break from the road. This is the first in a series of EPs they’ll release.
American Babies - Knives and Teeth CD - At some point in every man's life, he looks in the mirror and is surprised by what he sees. His hair is a bit more gray, his skin a bit more wrinkled, his eyes are paler than he remembered them being the day before. He begins to wonder: What is my life's work? Where am I headed? What is truly important to me? For Tom Hamilton that day is today and the questions are being asked on Knives & Teeth, the powerful new album he s recorded with his band, American Babies. Over the course of 10 songs that range from uplifting to heartbreaking, Hamilton considers the secrets of childhood, the impending doubts of adulthood and the weight of strained friendships, all set to a soundtrack with the brashness of The Replacements, the sonic intensity of David Bowie and the acoustic majesty of Led Zeppelin.
The Avett Brothers - Magpie and the Dandelion CD - The album was produced by Rick Rubin who produced their previous two full-length studio albums, I and Love and You and The Carpenter. The album was recorded during the same recording sessions as The Carpenter and in an open letter to fans published in August band says the album conveys a feeling on "youthful wonder."
The Mantras - Jambands Ruined My Life CD - The Mantras' fourth studio release, is a snapshot of a band on the rise. Recorded almost a year ago, Jambands Ruined My Life showcases The Mantras ability to play with funk and jazz improvisation, live electronica, Middle Eastern, and progressive rock. Blending it all seamlessly into the band’s funky, energetic, and confident sound. 'Jambands Ruined My Life' was recorded and produced at Jake Cinninger’s (Umphrey's McGee) Boondock Studios in Michigan by the band's full time sound engineer Matt Gordon, with help from Jake as a guest producer and engineer. Jake is also a featured guitarist on 'Kinetic Bump' and 'House of Cards'.
Electric Soul Pandemic - Communications CD -Electric Soul Pandemic (ESP) is a psychedelic rock quintet from Greensboro, North Carolina that specializes in soaring, exploratory jams. Featuring the sonic interplay of dual guitars, the swirl of a howling Moog, and the confident backbone of drum and bass, ESP has fine tuned their sound and cut their teeth in the North Carolina “jam” and festival scene over the last few years. The tracks found on 2013’s “Communications,” the band’s studio debut, feature lush, layered jams from the band’s live shows, splashing them with funk, jam and the spirit of free-form improvisation. ESP pulls from different moods and genres in creating their recipes and will prove to be a revelation to both the first-time listener and the established fan.
Marvelous Funkshun CD - Marvelous Funkshun's self titled debut CD is an eclectic and high energy album that draws from a wide range of influences. Featuring scorching guitar backed by a funky rhythm section, psychedelic and jazz infused improvisation and lyrics that are both catchy as well as meaningful, the record has something for everyone. The record also features a few guest appearances such as two-time Grammy award winner Kofi Burbridge of the Tedeschi Trucks Band on flute and piano and Piedmont Triad harmonica legend Mike Wesolowski.
Nahko & Medicine for the People - Dark as Night CD - Oregon-born Nahko was born from strife and intermingling identities; his origins are a mix of Apache, Puerto Rican and Filipino cultures. His grandmother forced his mother into prostitution at age 14 and his life began in an act of violence. After being born, Nahko was given up for adoption to a white family in Portland, Oregon and all contact was lost with his Native American heritage for over two decades. Under their care, he was raised Christian and taught to sing, write, and play piano and guitar. At 17 years old, Nahko was hired as music director for an Alaskan theater production. After two years in Alaska and one year of Hawaii farming practices under his belt, and having never met his biological parents, Nahko embarked on a journey to seek them out. After finding his mother and siblings via the internet, he began to learn the story of a traumatic past, including the murder of his father and grandfather and his grandmother's equally tragic suicide. Through all of this past pain, Nahko has found a positive outlet in his music, not only healing himself through sharing his story and songs, but helping all he comes in contact with. Nahko currently resides in Hilo, Hawaii where he spends the majority of his time when not on tour. His lyrical story-telling ability opens listeners to "Real Talk Music" - songs that reveal honesty and pureness. Nahko's debut album "Dark As Night" explores themes of self-discovery, the importance of forgiveness, and embracing every moment of life as we only have one shot at it. Set out to unify people and bridge cultural gaps, Nahko allows listeners to follow him on his journey towards personal and spiritual realization.
RJD2 - More Is Than Isn't CD - RJD2 returns with his much-anticipated 5th solo album, ''More Is Than Isn't.'' In keeping with an ethos that both continually moves forward and stays rooted in funk, this album seamlessly melds raw, gritty breaks with bombastic horns, MCs, lush analog synths and the intangible. Though largely an instrumental affair, longtime collaborators Blueprint, Phonte Coleman, and Aaron Livingston join the fray, along with newcomers STS, P. Blackk and Khari Mateen adding some vocal duties. Listeners will hear hints of uptempo dance floor killers like ''Descended From Myth'' and ''Milk Tooth.'' This is truly sprawling, epic, beat-oriented music like only RJD2 can do.
Oct 17-19 - Harvest Music Festival - Ozark, AR
Oct 17-20 - MagnoliaFest - Live Oak, FL
Oct 24-27 - Hangtown Halloween Ball - Placerville, CA
Oct 31-Nov 2 - Hulaween - Live Oak, FL
Nov 14-17 - Bear Creek Music Festival - Live Oak, FL
Nov 26-30 - NC Music & Arts Festival - Lexington, NC
Video of the Week:
Grateful Dead - China Cat Sunflower (from Sunshine Daydream 1972)
Thanks for reading! Treat yourself to some good music this week.
- Lee Crumpton